Advanced Hearing & Balance Center - Consult YHN
Better Hearing of Madison County
February 6, 2020
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Advanced Hearing & Balance Center: Where the front office shines

Your front office staff is your practice’s number one resource in filling your schedule with viable opportunities. That’s why Advanced Hearing & Balance Center in Texas is fortunate to have two Patient Care Coordinators (PCCs) like Ana Ramirez and Tasha Smith. What makes them so great? Executive Director, Rachel Garcia, explains: “We were short three PCC's for most of 2019 and these two really stepped up! They worked 5+ hours of overtime every week for six months straight. Some weeks they worked up to 15+ hours of overtime, just to complete all of the administrative work and fill the schedule with opportunities.”

In fact, Ana and Tasha collectively created 735 opportunities (opps) in those six months. Both spend two hours a day making outbound calls. Ana handles database outreach (upgrades, annuals, warranties, etc.) while Tasha calls leads generated from community events as well as cancel/no shows, TNS patients, physician referrals, etc. But that’s not all: Tasha handles coordinating and running the practice’s community events, including performing hearing screenings and since her recent promotion to Audiology Tech, Ana also assists the providers. We talked to the dynamic duo to find out the secret behind their impressive monthly opps numbers and what advice they can offer peers about hitting their own monthly goals.

“I'm so thrilled for them to be getting this recognition. Nobody deserves it more than these two ladies. They both excel at analyzing patient circumstances, no matter the reason they’re communicating with them, and determining if there’s anything we can do to help get the patients into newer technology.”
Rachel Garcia, Executive Director, Advanced Hearing & Balance Center

Q&A with Ana Ramirez & Tasha Smith, Patient Care Coordinators

1What’s your professional background? What were you doing before you started working at the practice?
TASHA: I’ve worked in the medical field—family practice, internal medicine, OBGYN. I have a degree in marketing as well. ANA: I was working as a physical therapy tech at a chiropractic/worker’s comp office. I also have a little bit of experience with dictation and transcription which has come in handy when I’m entering data into the computer while speaking with patients.
2What’s a typical workday look like for you?
ANA: Most days, I start off with the Daily Huddle. It gives us an idea of where we are for the week and for the month and helps us plan our day. Once I take care of the Huddle, I check faxes for referrals, let everyone know if their patient received the referrals, and create profiles for new referral patients. I’ll pull them out and give them a call. I also dedicate an hour of my morning to prep charts for the following week. So, if it’s Monday, I make the charts for next Monday. If you let it stack up, you end up spending most of your day working on charts. I do an hour of call time before lunch. If I know I have 10 inbound referrals, I’ll try to call them to get them scheduled. I also make sure I send out outbound referrals and pre-authorizations for workman’s comp. After lunch, I focus on making calls to people to get them back into the office. I’ll send out forms to any physicians who referred someone to us, but their patients haven’t come in, yet. That way, they can help us out.
3How do you handle following up with leads after a community event?
TASHA: I set the expectation at the event that I’ll be following up with a phone call which I do as soon as I get back to the office. If I don’t reach them then, I’ll call the next day and if I don’t get them then, I’ll call for a third time the next day. If I still can’t get them on the phone or into the office, then I’ll call back from time to time after that.
4A lot of Front Office Professionals feel uncomfortable making multiple calls to leads and/or current patients. What advice would you give them?
TASHA: Just do it. It’ll be ok. Focus on them and keep calling because you never know. You may be met some negativity, but on the flip side, you may be helping someone who really needs it and only because you kept reaching out to them.
5What are some things you’d say are key to your success?
ANA: I think the biggest things are prioritizing my calls and my time and making sure I follow through on whatever I start. So, if I’m on the phone with insurance and it eats into 20 minutes of call time, I’ll deduct 20 minutes of scanning to make up for it. TASHA: I think consistency and just being persistent are key. Any leads that I don’t schedule, I keep in contact with until I can get them in the office.
6Tell us a little about the relationship you two have and how you support one another.
ANA: Honestly, I think because we both started around the same time, we just sort of attracted to each other like magnets. We get along so well. When one of us is struggling, the other just jumps in without even asking. If she’s running around and isn’t able to call all the leads from her events, I’ll ask her if she needs me to call a few for her. Or, if she knows I want to make an hour of calls before the end of the day and I haven’t been able to make them, she’ll ask if I need help. Especially in our office where we all have different duties, we need to make sure we give each other our time and our space without piling anything else on. So, when she’s out at events, I have to make sure I help with insurance that needs verifying for her patients. We communicate and just help each other.

TASHA: We’ve worked as a team from day one. She has my back and I have hers. We want to make sure everything is running smoothly.
7What do you enjoy most about your job?
TASHA: I enjoy working with patients and educating them about the importance of good hearing health. I know people don’t take care of their hearing the same way they do other things, so I like educating them on that.
8What advice would you give to other practices looking to increase their monthly opps numbers?
TASHA: I would say stay focused on what you need to do. If you set a goal for yourself during the day, make sure you’re focusing on that. Push forward. And always be willing to take on more work. If your team member isn’t able to hit their number, do what you can to cushion that. ANA: Don’t stress about it. When I first was making calls and learned we had goals to reach at the end of the month, I thought about it like, ‘If I don’t get this done, I’m failing my team.’ You can’t think of it that way because then you’re basically setting yourself up for failure. Some days are good days and some days are bad. There are days where I may only get one opp, but a few days later, I’ll call back and end up getting 12. There are so many variables with getting people on the phone. If you hit the goal, great! If you don’t, just try to hit and exceed tomorrow. It’s good to have a personal goal but ultimately you need to just worry about what the team needs for the month.